My son, Rob, was visiting recently and I asked him if he would like to help me put together the trailer for my book, SHE HAD TO KNOW. He was enthusiastic, but busy with work, so I did the preliminaries. I watched dozens of book trailers on the Internet and came to two conclusions. The perfect length seemed to be a little over one minute, and eerie music and a British voice over would really help set the mood for the Gothic feel I wanted.
At my piano I experimented with notes that would create an eerie tune. When satisfied with the music, I developed a script. The hard part was keeping both simple.
Many of the trailers I’d seen had too much unnecessary information in the overall content, too much text per frame, hard to read text, too many pictures or ones that moved too fast. I needed: the one sentence TV Guide version of my book, in video.
The basic elements of my book contain a premonitory dream, one sister searching for her birth family, a castle, secrets, an ancient treasure, danger, a murderer.
Now to decide what pictures to use. First, I needed a title page and a background graphic. I had painted a faux rock wall in my sunroom a couple of years ago and thought that would make a perfect backdrop for the text of my book title, so I took a photo of a portion of the wall.
The next would logically be from the dream—a hand coming from a grave. On a night with a full moon, Rob, and I went out in the front yard and set up a floor lamp in front of a gnarled tree. The lamp highlighted his arm, but was hidden from view as I positioned my camera in front of Rob. Just as the camera started shooting, he blew cigarette smoke toward his hand and the resulting video looked like a hand reaching upward on a foggy night with the gnarled tree silhouetted in the background.
We didn’t count on my neighbor walking his dog about this time. Can you believe we scared him? He uttered a strange nonverbal sound, and to cover it, said, “What is this? Halloween?” Rob and I were still laughing when we went back inside.
The next pictures needed were of a man in a kilt and a picture of a young woman (family). That was easy enough. I used photos on hand.
Then, we needed a castle at night. I went searching on istockphoto.com and Fotolia.com and finally found a black and white video that was perfect. I purchased it and downloaded it to my computer.
For the “secrets” shot, I went hunting again on the Internet and found the tunnel video.
For the “treasure” shot, I gathered all the things around my house that could possibly be used to represent a treasure and took a photo.
For the “danger” shot, I went to the Internet again and found the wonderful eyeball. For the last shot, Rob and I videoed my arm falling. Next was the book cover and credits.
Using a program I had on my computer for doing family slide shows called, Magix PhotosStory on CD & DVD 9 deluxe, we lined up the photos and videos in order and added the music I had composed and recorded on an organ at my son’s store (complete with sound effects embedded.) The next step was adding the text to some of the frames.
I convinced a British friend of mine to do the voice over. That comprised the second sound track. All I had to do then was add the credits and send the video to Youtube. I also made a DVD of it, just for me, and I asked my web maven to put it on my website.
Some of you may want to hire a professional to do your book trailer, but I really wanted to try one on my own. It gave me a wonderful bonding experience with my son and memories I’ll never forget. If anyone has questions about how to put a trailer together yourself, I’d be glad to help if I can. If you’d like to see my trailer, go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=aS_L0wQ7Zws note: that’s a zero after the L. Any comments? Your own ideas?